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About

A Lab For The City

Laboratorio Para la Ciudad (LabCDMX) is the Mexico City Government experimental branch that is actively engaged in matters of civic innovation and urban creativity, the first of its kind in Latin America. LabCDMX was founded with the purpose of connecting a diversity of actors together—including citizens, academics, private sector agents and government administrations—with the common goal of building a better city. The Lab’s team consists of architects, designers, technologists, editors, art historians, political scientists, journalists, urban planners, and many other interdisciplinary experts who coordinate with each other to promote new paths of development for public policy. The Lab is constantly pursuing new forms of engagement with the citizens of Mexico City as it strives to build a more livable city through collaborative efforts.

LabCDMX is comprised of five main civic engagement projects—the Pedestrian City, the Playful City, the Open City, the Creative City and the Proposal City—as well as two research projects including Design for the City and the Global City. Through these various projects, the Lab team proposes innovative political and creative ways in which the municipal governments of Mexico City can encourage active civil participation in their districts. Digital platforms, big data projects, and design strategies are also developed in the Lab with the goal of placing themes such as mobility, open government, creative communities, experimental design and children’s rights at the forefront of the City’s agenda. The crux of these research and design projects are actually open-ended themes that are part of a shifting knowledge-building structure. More than a simple question or hypothesis, these “provocations” contain the seeds of action that act as starting points for important conversations, active community-building, successful experiments, and innovative methodologies that allow us to rethink and reinvent the city.

LabCDMX considers modern uses of digital technology, active civil participation and creativity as crucial elements in the way social innovation, sustainability and public space are handled across the globe. This is why the LabCDMX aims to push innovation in the public sector, helping the government implement different mechanisms for collecting citizen input, generating useful and accessible data and creating spaces for dialogue. The Lab’s experiments promote the improvement of public services by changing the structure of the government to be more responsive and receptive to citizen participation and does so through the use of open technology. Once these experiments can proven at a micro-scale, it becomes easier to adopt them at a larger scale. The Lab’s philosophy is that a focused and intimate form of engagement can be a good way to address complex issues such as economic development, infrastructure, and civic participation. At the same time, the Lab is able to push strategic conversations across different government bodies, creating new narratives in collaboration with citizens.

What makes the LabCDMX unique is its aim to overcome the negative stereotypes of its city and to help the metropolis realize its own ability to innovate; to connect the creative energies of the megalopolis and to form bonds between its 22 million inhabitants in order to inject forward-thinking ideas back into the city’s system.

En lugar de conformarnos simplemente dando mejores servicios o ofreciendo nuevos canales para la participación, LabCDMX considera a la tecnología digital, la participación ciudadana activa como elementos cruciales en la innovación social, sustentabilidad y espacio público que se maneja en todo el mundo. Esta es la forma en la que LabCDMX pretende impulsar la innovación en el sector público, apoyando al gobierno en la creación e implementación de diferentes mecanismos para recolectar nueva información sobre los ciudadanos, generando datos útiles y accesibles y creando espacios para el diálogo.

Proyecto: Artefacto Urbano
Proyecto: Artefacto Urbano

De esta manera, los experimentos del laboratorio de la ciudad promueven la mejora de los servicios públicos al cambiar la estructura de gobierno para que sea sensible y receptiva a la participación ciudadana a través del uso de tecnología abierta. El Lab se basa en intervenciones a pequeña escala, prototipos, infraestructura ligera y capital creativo. Si los experimentos resultan exitosos a una micro escala, se pueden adoptar en la ciudad a una escala mayor, ya sea en el plano político o como como un ciudadano impulsando iniciativas. Una perspectiva íntima y centrada podrida ser una buena manera para abordar y aclarar problemas grandes, complejos y graves como el desarrollo económico, infraestructura, participación, etc. Al mismo tiempo, el lab permite promover conversaciones estratégicas con diferentes secretarías de gobierno, creando la acción conjunta y las narrativas con las que los ciudadanos contribuyen.

Lo que hace a LabCDMX único es la Ciudad de México. Busca superar los estereotipos y ayudar a la metrópoli a superar su propia capacidad inventiva, para conectar las energías creativas de la megalópolis y sis 22 millones de habitantes con el fin de nutrir el sistema de la ciudad de buenas ideas y brindar un nuevo vocabulario que exprese lo que sucede en su corazón.

Project name Lab for the city: LabCDMX
Period 2012
Contributor Government of Mexico City, Gabriella Gomez-Mont (Director)
Location Tlaxcoaque #8, Centro, 06090, CDMX